John, good question, and good
choice! In the amazing Sherwood orchard of another past friend, I not only added to her collection of apples by yearly grafting, I had many occasions to try fruit from about 20 different old
At times, I felt ashamed of myself
Alone, I'd march from tree to tree (in weekly intervals) biting into the best looking apple I could reach. Iâ€™d chomp into it, spit it out, pitch the remainder - and move on... Occasionally, I couldnâ€™t spit, or pitch it! And her Hudson's Golden Gem
was my favorite! I've many a graft from her collection (living on with me), but other than the russet texture of its thin potato-like skin, itâ€™s golden!
One of her youngest trees, most of it had split off with a heavy snow load. I procured some healthy wood and gave it a 'crown veneer' bark graft at the severed trunk. Painted it up pretty with yellow grafting seal; tagged and flagged it with bright orange surveyors tape, so the tractor driver couldn't miss it... But neither could the neighborhood kids walking by to school... Though the grafts had all taken, the kids had apparently snapped off the majority of them.
Anyway, she's gone, and to be honest - I havenâ€™t wanted to see if the orchard's still there
it had been surrounded by new housing. But as I said, her best, along with her favorite (Strawberry Delicious
) live on with me; as does my memory of Margaret Richen
. If I can remember, I'll snip off some of mine and haul it into the Exchange - if you can't find any at the tables - just ask for Viron
, and we'll both thank Margaret